Gender Differences in the Role of Migrant Networks: Comparing Congolese and Senegalese Migration Flows

Sorana Toma, University of Oxford
Sophie Vause, Université Catholique de Louvain

This paper uses recent longitudinal data collected within the Migration between Africa and Europe (MAFE) project to investigate gender differences in the role of migrant networks in international mobility. We compare Congolese and Senegalese migration streams to examine how the interplay between gender and networks varies across contexts of origin. Based on discrete-time hazard models, our research confirms previous findings of a differential influence of networks in male and female migration; it also brings out substantial variation between the two countries. While networks influence in a similar way male migration from both countries, gender differences are especially pronounced in Senegal. Senegalese women are less likely to explore new destinations and migrate once a close family network has established itself for a long period of time at destination. We relate these findings to the more rigid patriarchal norms restricting female autonomy in Senegal, both in terms of mobility and economic activity.

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Presented in Session 86: International Migration